State policies and legislative resources
  • Law to Combat Domestic Violence (Law on Combating Domestic Violence) (2009)
  • The Penal Code (1911) amended in March 2015 to revise the First, Second and Third Book
  • Revision of the Penal Code in 2015 regarding trafficking in persons
  • Law Prohibiting Human Trafficking (Prohibition on Trafficking in Persons Act) (2006)
  • Law Punishing Stalking (Law on the Punishment of Stalking, 2012)
  • The Family Employment Protection Act (2019)
  • Amendment of the Penal Code in 2020 (SB 2020 No. 42, Article 292) regarding grooming.
  • Gender Vision Policy 2021-2035
  • National Policy on Sexual and Reproductive health 2020-2030
  • National Action Plan to combat Child Labor (NAPKA) 2019-2024
  • The National Policy Plan for the Structural Approach to address Domestic Violence 2014-2017
  • Maternal- and newborn Health Strategy 2021-2025 and Operational Action Plan 2021-2023
  • National Policy Plan: Structural Approach Domestic Violence (2017-2020)
  • National Action Plan on Trafficking
  • Gender Action plan, 2019-2020
  • Gender Action Plan, 2021
  • National Strategic Plan ‘Renewal and Strengthening of Primary Health Care 2014-2018
  • National Strategy Plan HIV 2014-2020
  • HIV Strategic Plan 2021-2027
  • National Cancer Control Plan 2019-2028
  • National Child Action Plan, 2019-2021

GBV and SRHR Advocacy stakeholders

Government Institutions

  • National Council for Domestic Violence (NRHG – replaced the Steering committee, Domestic Violence Committee, and the Platform on Domestic Violence)
  • Ministry of Health
  • Bureau Gender Affairs, The Ministry of Home Affairs
  • The Bureau for Women and Child Policy, Ministry of Justice and Police
  • Police Corps Suriname, units Domestic Violence
  • The Gender Platform Nickerie
  • The Bureau Victim Aid
  • Child Help Line/Mi Lijn (123)
  • Centers for Reporting Child abuse (Meldpunt Kinderbescherming) located in the districts Sipaliwini (Apoera), Coronie and Paramaribo
  • Regional Health Department

Civil Society / Women's Movement

  • Home for women in crisis
  • Women’s Right Centre (WRC)
  • Stichting Lobi Health Center
  • Projekta
  • Stop Violence Against Women
  • Parea
  • LGBT Platform
  • Ilse Henar Hewitt, Legal Aid for women
  • Liefdevolle handen
  • Double Positive
  • Men United
  • Chances for Life
  • Moederhart Nickerie
  • Stichting De Stem
  • Women’s Way Foundation

Thematic Issues

Access to SRHR and GBV Services
  • Data is being analysed and will be presented here shortly.
Implementation of anti-discrimination laws and policies against vulnerable populations
  • There is no specific legislation addressing protections for persons with HIV (PANCAP, 2020).
  • There is no provision for the protection against discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation (PANCAP, 2020).
    Comment from the Bureau Gender Affairs during validation exercise: Revision Penal Code in March 2015: Articles 175 – 176 deal with insult of a group people and hate speech. In these provisions sexual orientation is inter alia mentioned as ground for discrimination.

    Further article 126 a contains a definition on discrimination, but sexual orientation is not explicitly mentioned.

    Article 500a deals with occupational discrimination in which sexual orientation is explicitly mentioned as a ground for discrimination.

  • Discrimination, unequal treatment, and hatred speech on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity (LGBT Platform, 2014).
  • Prohibition of same-sex marriage, lack of civil and social marital rights and lack of legislation and public policies regarding same-sex families (LGBT Platform, 2014).
  • Discrimination and harassment against transgender persons in the workplace and the school system (LGBT Platform, 2014).
  • Transgender women are not allowed to work as teachers in the educational system. Even though there is no explicit rule prohibiting transgender individuals from being teachers, they are only allowed to teach if they dress and act according to their biological sex (LGBT Platform, 2014).
  • Teenage transgender persons also face discrimination in public schools. Transgender women are not allowed to wear clothes that coincide with their gender identity or expression and are forced to use the male bathrooms in schools. Rather, teachers and school personnel treat all students according to the sex on their birth certificate (LGBT Platform, 2014).
  • Arbitrary arrest, harassment and torture of transgender persons: Although the Surinamese Constitution9 establishes the right to personal freedom and security, 10 in reality this protection is lacking for LGBTI persons. Arbitrary detentions, harassment and torture against LGBTI people – especially transgender women – continue to be a usual practice of security forces in the country (LGBT Platform, 2014).
  • Suriname continues to apply a criminal law approach to abortion, making it illegal, regardless of the risk to the pregnant women’s life, pregnancy in the case of rape or incest, or fetal malformation incompatible with life (UPR, 2021).
  • The lack of a national policy governing refugee protection or asylum procedures in the State, as well as the lack of long-term protection measures for women refugees and asylum seekers who were victims of trafficking or gender-based violence, despite sharp increase in the number of registered asylum seekers in 2016 and 2017 (UPR, 2021).
  • The State was a source, transit and destination country for children subjected to sex trafficking, in particular girls from Amerindian and Maroon communities in regions where mining and forestry operations were taking place. It was also seriously concerned about reports of children being coerced to engage in commercial sex, including sex tourism, and forced prostitution and forced labour in the State (UPR, 2021).
  • LGBTQI+ individuals continued to face various forms of discrimination, without sufficient legal remedies, preventing them to fully enjoy their right to family life and in particular hindering trans-persons to supplement their civil status registry in accordance with their re-assigned gender and sex as ruled by the domestic District Court in first instance (UPR, 2021).
  • Article 295 of the Penal Code makes sexual penetration by force punishable for anyone. No exception is made for spouses. This makes rape punishable even within marriage.
    Previously, rape was only criminalized out of wedlock if it was committed against women, but that wording was deliberately changed to make rape against men and also in marriage punishable.
    Article 295: “The person who, by force or other act or threat of force or other act, forces someone to undergo acts which consist of or include sexual penetration of the body, shall be punished as guilty of rape with imprisonment for a term not exceeding fifteen years and a fine of the fifth category.” (Provided by the Women and Child Policy Bureau of the Ministry of Justice and Police.)
Provisions of CSE and SRHR services for Children and Youth
  • Child protection programs are inadequate, due to a myriad of reasons, e.g. a lack of a coordinated approach and a tracking system in the support process, lack of case management and monitoring systems; and lack of defined processes and protocols for professional groups working with children present (UPR, 2021).
  • There is a shortage of social workers in public service and at NGO level, as well as of adequate childcare and guidance of traumatized children (UPR, 2021).
  • No law reform appeared to have been initiated with a view to explicitly prohibit corporal punishment of children in all settings. In 2018, the Government again stated that although there was no explicit legal prohibition of corporal punishment, children were protected “from abuse under the country’s civil and criminal laws” and that “corporal punishment is considered a criminal offence”. It however recognized that legislation needed to be updated or enacted to better protect children (UPR, 2021).
  • Inadequate funding or subsidy from the State for youth programmes (Stichting De Stem)
Enabling Legal and policy framework to advance SRHR and GBV
  • The Law on Combatting Domestic Violence is restricted to violence perpetuated within the home, leaving violence in public spheres unaddressed (PANCAP, 2020).

    Comment from the Bureau Gender Affairs during validation exercise: Article 1.J. of the Law on Combatting Domestic Violence states that domestic violence can take place anywhere, thus also outside the home.

  • No execution of the drug treatment court (DTC) snelrecht for perpetrators for compulsory care and supervision (Stichting De Stem)
  • Draft legislation to address sexual harassment in the workplace has been developed, no law seems to have been enacted to date (PANCAP, 2020).

    Comment from the Bureau Gender Affairs during validation exercise: Currently in discussion in the National Assembly.

  • Despite the existing legal framework addressing GBV, there is still a high incidence of GBV (PANCAP, 2020).
  • A majority of women who experienced physical and/or sexual IPV do not seek help from any organization or support agency (PANCAP, 2020).
  • It is noted that the implementation of the laws is hindered by a lack of training and operational tools at the institutional level for effective implementation (PANCAP, 2020).
  • Insufficient adoption of legislative and other measures to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and that it had not intensified measures to prevent and sanction violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.
  • The absence of a national strategy to combat and prevent child marriage (LGBT Platform, 2014).
  • Inequitable access to and use of essential health services remained evident, caused by inequalities related to gender, geographical location and socioeconomic status. Access to specialized care for those living in the interior remained limited, with persons in need of care having to travel to Paramaribo (UPR, 2021).
  • Inadequate funding of the health sector, resulting in women’s very limited access to basic health-care services, in particular for rural women, Maroon women and indigenous women, who often had to travel to Paramaribo to seek specialist medical treatment (UPR, 2021).
  • The lack of cardiovascular services and cancer screening for women outside Paramaribo, despite the high incidence of cardiovascular diseases and reproductive cancers, including breast, uterine and cervical cancer (UPR, 2021).
  • In 2018, the Lobi negotiated a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education on integrating CSE as a pilot in the curriculum of seven schools in areas where teenage pregnancies were prominent. Unfortunately, the finalization of the MoU was halted and consequently the implementation of the pilot (UPR, 2021).
  • Restrictive cultural and gender perceptions, inability of healthcare workers, social workers, teachers and police officers, to effectively apply a SRHR perspective or approach to their work (UPR, 2021).
  • Although a new national policy on SRHR was established by the MOH in 2019, no actions were taken to implement this policy (UPR, 2021).
  • Implementation of laws for protections against violence against women and girls had been stymied by a lack of training and tools at the operational level to ensure proper recording and tracking of cases (UPR, 2021).
  • Lack of social services to support survivors, and inefficient and ineffective criminal justice systems to hold perpetrators accountable (UPR, 2021).
  • Reported cases of trafficking in the State’s remote jungle interior had increased in recent years and that a limited Government presence in the interior made it hard to quantify the full scope of the operations. Trafficking in persons, in particular women and children, remained a concern since a coordinated approach to prevent and protect trafficking victims had not been fully developed in the region (UPR, 2021).
  • No shelter dedicated to trafficking victims. A domestic violence shelter accepted female and child trafficking victims but did not accept male victims (UPR, 2021).
  • Three main challenges to be overcome in order to eliminate the structural challenges of gender inequality identified in the Montevideo Strategy:
  • Insufficient capacity to develop, execute, monitor and evaluate a gender strategy and policy. The BGA lacks sufficient staff to make society in general and in particular school-age youth in the whole country aware of gender, education and upbringing, and human rights (women, men and children).
  • Insufficient statistical and other information, including qualitative data to determine specific policy and to make problem-solving interventions. To stop the increase of cases of domestic violence, the Combating Domestic Violence Act was adopted in 2009, which allows a victim to apply for a restraining order against a perpetrator.
  • Little experience in and lack of gender integration processes, where equality goals are added to all policy goals during policy development, in both public and private sectors (Montevideo, 2019).

    Comment from the Bureau Gender Affairs during validation exercise: In 2019 a Gender Vision Policy Document 2021- 2035 together with a Gender Action Plan for the year 2019 and 2020 have been developed, and consequently a gender action plan for 2021 on the basis of the Gender Vision Policy Document 2021- 2035. And currently the BGA is developing a monitoring and evaluation plan for the Gender Vision Policy Document 2021-2035. Awareness raising is not the sole responsibility of the BGA, since reaching gender equality is a shared responsibility. In this area, the Ministry of Education also has a role to play, and in this regard has already provided gender training to teachers.

  • Suriname lacked the necessary enabling environment to ensure sustainable development and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health for all. This was due to the restrictive cultural and gender perceptions held by individuals in leadership positions on sexuality and sexual identities, the failure to internalize reformed SRHR oriented laws, and the inability of healthcare workers, social workers, teachers and police officers, to effectively apply a SRHR perspective or approach to their work (UPR/ Pre-session, Lobi 2021).


  • National Report Suriname, May 2019. Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and Adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995)
  • National Report Suriname, on the implementation of Montevideo, 2019
  • National report Suriname, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 39th session, November 2021
  • Compilation on Suriname, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 39th session, November 2021
  • Summary of Stakeholders’ submissions on Suriname, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 39th session, November 2021
  • Foundation Lobi Health Center, 2020, submissions on Suriname, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 39th session, November 2021
  • Women’s Rights Center (WRC) and Parea, 2020, submissions on Suriname, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 39th session, November 2021
  • Indigenous Peoples, 2020, submissions on Suriname, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 39th session, November 2021
  • Foundation Projekta, Suriname, 2020, submissions on Suriname, Human Rights Council, Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, 39th session, November 2021
  • Corporal punishment of children in Suriname: Briefing for the Universal Periodic Review, 39th session, November 2021, Global Initiative to End All Corporal Punishment of Children, 2020
  • Suriname, 2020, Human Rights Report
  • Policy Brief advocating for Law and Policy Reform in Suriname to respond to Gender- Based violence, Stigma and Discrimination, 2020, PANCAP